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The Command of Grace sets forth a bold new critical initiative in theological apologetics, one that advances a fundamental reassessment of theological self-understanding and method today, especially in its attentiveness to the present reality of God in revelation. Many recently predominating trends have tended to treat theological truth as something cognitively self-guaranteeing ('tauto-theological') within doctrinal or other theoretical domains. Against this, and drawing on the philosophical heritage as well importantly on Jewish thought, the book seeks to revive for fundamental theological questioning other basic modes of human attentiveness which, under an array of 'cognitively mono-visional' influences, have become largely lost to theology since 1800, even though they continue to thrive in the life of faith in the church itself. These are: a??causala?? attentiveness encountered through the faculties of bodily sensibility; and 'appetitive' or 'motive' attentiveness encountered in the faculty of desire. Especially crucial here is the rejuvenation of the primacy of 'motive reasoning' (reasoning with regard to motivations and desires) for theology's apologetical self-understanding, in addition to its normal engagement with 'cognitive reasoning' (reasoning with regard to percepts and concepts). If God in his transcendent 'Godness' meets us in revelation not at the margins of the speculative intellect in the form of a denotatum for cognitive apprehension, but rather at the very center of embodied life in the form of a summons to motivated action, then theology must seek to be attentive to God through all the endowed faculties of embodied-rational life: cognitive, sensible, and motive-appetitive.
The Command of Grace sets forth a bold new critical initiative in theological apologetics which advocates a fundamental reassessment of theological self-understanding and method today, especially in its attentiveness to the present reality of God in revelation.It is predicated on what, through a sustained and penetrating critique of our philosophical and theological history, the book shows to be a still profoundly pervasive analytical 'spirit of idealism', under whose influences theology has in a wide array of ways come to exercise itself predominantly within a kind of cognitivist mono-vision. Theology has thereby not only become self-guaranteeing within itself ('tauto-theological'), thus forfeiting its rationally rigorous edge, but has also inadvertently violated its indispensable incarnational (embodied) ground. Against this, the book seeks, through a rigorously critical attentiveness to rational integrity, to revive for fundamental theological questioning two basic modes of human awareness, which under the aforementioned influences have become largely lost to theology over the past two centuries, even though they continue to thrive in the life of faith in the church itself.These are: causal attentiveness encountered through the faculties of bodily sensibility; and appetitive or motive attentiveness encountered in the faculty of desire. If God in his very 'Godness' meets us in revelation at the very centre of created life, and reveals himself only here as the hope of the life to come, then theology must again seek to be attentive to God in the full contingency of embodied-rational life in all of its constitutive faculties: sensible, cognitive and appetitive.